Spinal stenosis is a condition where a narrowing of the spinal canal occurs in the lower part of the back (lumbar spinal stenosis) or the neck (cervical spinal stenosis). About 102 million people worldwide are diagnosed with spinal stenosis each year, so it’s critical to know about potential symptoms.
Spinal stenosis manifests itself through the following symptoms…
1. Lower Back and Neck Pain
Pain in the lower back and the neck is spinal stenosis’s main symptom since the condition affects the entire spine. Sometimes, basic movements like standing and walking can trigger flare-ups.
But the pain doesn’t stop there…
People who suffer from stenosis tend to get sciatica. When stenosis occurs, the vertebrae can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing a “burning” pain and numbness from the buttocks down to the legs.
You also might feel the following symptom…
3. Tingling Sensations
Apart from the occasional numbing, the narrowing of the spine can cause a pins-and-needles tingling in the legs. Other parts of the body, like hands and feet, might also feel tingly at times.
Stenosis generally makes movement quite difficult, as the next symptom describes…
4. Weakness In The Extremities
The stenosis of the central spinal canal affects the spinal cord, which in turn can lead to patients’ arms, hands, legs, and feet weakening, making them lose their grip and become clumsy at times. Others even report losing all sensation in the legs.
Our next symptom makes even the simple tasks challenging..
5. Loss of Fine Motor Skills
Being productive while having spinal stenosis can be rough. Having weakened body parts makes simple tasks like typing on a keyboard, buttoning a shirt, writing, or unlocking a door with a key especially difficult.
The same can be said about getting up on your feet…
6. Balance Problems
Patients who suffer from spinal stenosis can also experience problems with their walking, as well as trouble keeping their balance, with some people having tendencies to fall down at times.
More severe cases exhibit the following…
7. Numb Thighs
Patients who have advanced cases of spinal stenosis suffer increasing numbness between the inner thighs, the back of the legs, and sometimes even in the genital area.
Most patients do not frequently talk about the following symptom…
8. Loss Of Sexual Ability
A 2010 study showed that lumbar spinal stenosis can cause sexual dysfunction, particularly among males, who often develop erectile dysfunction as a result of nerve compression.
Over time, people with spinal stenosis can start to lose control of certain things…
Severe lumbar spinal stenosis can cause cauda equine syndrome, which involves loss of bowel and bladder control. Patients who have these symptoms should be admitted to the hospital immediately.
All of these symptoms can be truly nerve-wracking, just like the final one on this list…
Spinal problems frequently cause headaches. In some cases of cervical spinal stenosis, headaches occur occasionally, and they could be linked to the compression of the nerves in the upper area of the neck.